June 9-11, 2006
Tozanso, Gotemba, Japan
The first ALDEC Alumni Reunion Fellowship was held on June 9-11, 2006 at the YMCA Center in Tozanso, Gotemba, Japan. ALDEC, an acronym for Asia Leadership Development Center Program, was the first leadership program organized by the World Student Christian Federation - Asia-Pacific in 1970 attended by 23 SCM leaders all over Asia-Pacific. This three-month intensive leadership programme was consecutively staged for three years (1970-1972) and gathered together the leaders of the SCMs in Asia and Pacific, most of whom have become prominent ecumenical leaders and prime movers in their respective fields of work in their countries.
Leading the reunion fellowship are Dr. Kang Moonkyu, WSCF AP former Regional Secretary from 1970 to 1978 and immediate past president of the World Council of Churches, and Dr. Bungaran Saragih, a former Agriculture Minister of the Indonesian government, who were both participants to the first ALDEC held in 1970 in Tozanso. In organizing this reunion, both believed that "as Senior Friends, we recognize our role and consider the importance of strengthening the WSCF Senior Friends Network in order to support the current generation of WSCF and SCMs in carrying out the vision and mission of the federation".
Joining them in this historic fellowship were: Dr. Kentaro Shiozuki, WSCF Staff from 1957 to 1970 (Japan), Dr. Sandy Yule (Australia), Amir Sirait (Indonesia), Takashi Hongyo (Japan), Dr. Albert Haribuan (Indonesia), Akuila Yabaki (Fiji), Marshal Fernando (Sri Lanka), Ichiro Yamakawa (Student YMCA President of Japan), Kohei Yamada, General Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of Japan, M. Nakamura (Japan) and Necta Montes Rocas, the current Regional Secretary of WSCF AP. Those invited but were unable to attend due to prior commitments were Bishop Samuel Azariah (Pakistan), Dr. Ninan Koshy (India), Theresa Chong Cariño (Singapore/Hong Kong), Dr. Anh Jae Wong (Korea).
The reunion fellowship began with a dinner reception on the 9th of June hosted by General Secretary of Japan YMCA, Kohei Yamada, and the staff of YMCA Tozanso. The ALDEC alumni's were joined by the Tozanso YMCA staff from the 70's, most of whom have retired from service but came to meet old friends and acquaintances. The following day, each of the alumni shared reflections about the impact of ALDEC and SCM in their lives. This affirmation was followed by Necta Montes Rocas' presentation on the current life and difficulties of the federation and the SCMs. In her presentation, she emphasized the need to sustain the leadership program for the SCMs by generating support from the more than 600 former participants who have benefited in the 32 leadership programs organized by WSCF AP since 1970.
The senior friends raised three challenges to revitalizing the SCMs in the region. These were: movement building and redefining the constituency of the SCMs to include other members of the academic community; strengthening of SCM Christian identity and relationship with the churches; and leadership development as vital in the survival of the federation. At the end of the meeting the ALDEC alumni agreed to further mobilize and organize the senior friends to contribute in the Senior Friends Gathering at the WSCF General Assembly in 2008. They also offered to provide their advice to the current generation of SCMs on matters related to its vision and mission; to provide financial support to the current work and project of SCM and WSCF, and to help revive work in China by organizing a team visit to former WSCF staff, Bishop K.H. Ting in China.
A special worship prayer led by Sandy Yule was offered by everyone in remembrance of the late Dr. Feliciano Cariño, who was then the resource person, Carlos Tayag from the Philippines and Tawin Sidhiponge from Thailand, both were participants of ALDEC 1970.
The reunion fellowship was hosted by the National Council of YMCAs of Japan, a role they re-lived as the YMCA Center in Tozanso was also the site of the first ALDEC. Funding support was provided by the Centennial Trust Fund of WSCF.